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Dealing with Thought Problems

The process of thinking is greatly impaired when a person has dementia.  It is important to remember that this is part of the disease's natural course, and that not being able to pay attention, comprehend, make decisions, follow instructions, and judge situations could pose great danger to both patients and caregivers.  Follow this advice to deal with situations in which the patient presents thought-related problems:  

  •  When the patient finds it difficult to pay attention, assess what is happening to him or her in those moments.  Make sure that there is no noise or other distractions when you give the patient some instruction; and try simplifying the information you are sharing with the patient.  Do the same when you notice that the patient has difficulty understanding what you are saying.  Do not shout or raise your tone of voice.  Keep calm and speak slowly using simple words. 


  • To prevent the patient from endangering his or her life and the lives of others, make sure to remove objects that could harm the patient and keep doors leading outside closed in such a way that the patient cannot open them but another person can open them quickly in an emergency.   


Asking for help was hard at first. I wanted my children to believe their father was fine!

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